Credit: Mars Digital Image Model, NASA/Nanna Karlsson
Ice on Mars: Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water
Date: April 8, 2015
Source: University of Copenhagen – Niels Bohr Institute
Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as surface of the ground, but radar measurements show that underneath the dust there are glaciers composed of frozen water. New studies have now calculated the size of the glaciers and thus the amount of water in the glaciers.
“We have calculated that the ice in the glaciers is equivalent to over 150 billion cubic meters of ice — that much ice could cover the entire surface of Mars with 1.1 meters of ice. The ice at the mid-latitudes is therefore an important part of Mars’ water reservoir,” explains Nanna Bjørnholt Karlsson.
May 24, 2010
PASADENA, Calif. – NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander has ended operations after repeated attempts to contact the spacecraft were unsuccessful. A new image transmitted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows signs of severe ice damage to the lander’s solar panels.
“The Phoenix spacecraft succeeded in its investigations and exceeded its planned lifetime,” said Fuk Li, manager of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Although its work is finished, analysis of information from Phoenix’s science activities will continue for some time to come.”
During its mission, Phoenix confirmed and examined patches of the widespread deposits of underground water ice detected by Odyssey and identified a mineral called calcium carbonate that suggested occasional presence of thawed water. The lander also found soil chemistry with significant implications for life and observed falling snow. The mission’s biggest surprise was the discovery of perchlorate, an oxidizing chemical on Earth that is food for some microbes and potentially toxic for others.